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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,784 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #51

Jun 152014

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 119,167 miles


While decelerating to turn into our drive way the vehicle rapidly accelerated. We were able to get it stopped by using the brakes, ending up in the yard/sidewalk. There were approximately 10 feet of skid marks. The engine was racing while the brakes were being applied. The floor mat was not involved. The increased engine RPM was not initiated nor controllable by the operator. This was truly an uncontrolled run away that could have been life threatening.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #50

May 142014

Highlander Hybrid

  • 107,500 miles
There was fire in the inverter assembly. The wiring harness for the inverter and the transmission were completely cooked and melted. The professional opinion of a Toyota national engineer is that the generator in the trans axle surged and caused a fire melting the components. How can this go un-investigated with so many of these vehicles on the road. My family and I could have been burned alive or in a fatal crash due to this completely unsafe system. How can Toyota continue to say they are all about safety when they will not do anything about issues like this. They have sent me a $16,000 bill for this issue that is completely a product of their poor and unsafe vehicle.

- Oilivia, NC, USA

problem #49

May 152014

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 107,500 miles
I was driving the vehicle and heard a loud popping noise on the way to the dealership for recall work. Once the technician opened the inverter case we found the wiring harness for both the inverter and transmission were completely melted and cooked due to a fire inside the inverter. I am now looking at a $15000 repair bill with Toyota and luckily my family and I were not burned alive or in an accident resulting in fatalities.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #48

Sep 202013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 140,250 miles


As I pulled out of the parking lot of a hotel the check vcs system, check hybrid system, check AWD system warnings began to illuminate and alternate. The master warning light, slip indicator light, check engine warning light and the electronically controlled brake system warning light were all illuminated as well. The car would drive, however, the power steering and ABS were not working. I was able to drive the car to the closest Toyota dealership. I was originally told that the car simply needed a new battery. Once the battery was replaced, I was told that the ECU for the ABS system had died and would need to be replaced at the cost of $2000. When I mentioned the recall and the fact that the symptoms were directly in line with the recall notice for the imp I was told that while my VIN fell under the boj recall, the specific serial # of my imp did not. I was also told that this was not the problem my car was having. When I asked whether the serial numbers of the D1M recall were checked I was told this was an "interim recall" and that they were not authorized to do repairs on this one yet so they couldn't check. Research has indicated that an imp failure can cause and ECU failure. Furthermore, an ECU failure would not have caused the system to go into fail safe mode as it did. I have a Toyota case #, but they have told me there is nothing they can do.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #47

Aug 262013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My wife was backing out of our driveway when the car suddenly lost power to the wheels and all of the warning lights came on. She was unable to move the car forward or backward to get the car out of the lane of traffic. We got the car towed to the local Toyota dealership. They informed us that the inverter was bad and we needed a new one. We had received a recall notice about replacing an "intelligent power module" and had the repairs done Jan 9th 2013. The repair shop has said that the replaced part is working and that it is the inverter itself that has gone bad. I have seen many other complaints about this problem online. I am just thankful that she wasn't going highway speed with our child in the car when she lost power. That could have been very dangerous.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #46

May 032013

Highlander Hybrid

  • miles
Vehicle died while going down street. Had to be pushed out of roadway.

- Covington, LA, USA

problem #45

Aug 212013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 149,405 miles


While driving the vehicle at approx. 60 miles per hour the brake light and vcs system light came on. The warning light also went on. In accordance with the owner's manual, I took the car to an authorized Toyota dealership. According to the automobile status report, the ABS-hydraulic control assembly: With ECU must be replaced. According to complaints I researched on-line, several complaints have been documented relating to this make, model and ABS system. I filed an incident with Toyota (reference number: [xxx]). the intake representative who checked with the dealership said this wasn't a recall item and no support was available to extend the warranty on the part. She confirmed that the service department stated that there was no defect in the workmanship. I asked [xxx] (the person I spoke to) if I could take the vehicle for a second opinion relating to the ABS part. I also asked for verification that the service department actually checked the part for a defect or is qualified to determine if in fact it is a manufacturers' defect. The dealership quoted that the ABS part; brake flush/fluid exchange/bf; engine air filter replacement;A/C service-acs; coolant flush (premium)-cf; and fuel injection service would cost $2,250. I also asked the Toyota customer service representative what the battery expectancy on the car is and whether the manufacturer offers any support in terms of the costs. I was told by the dealership that the battery can cost $5,000 to replace but the manufacturer may offer some support. I would appreciate your assistance, research and filling of this complaint. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Parkland, FL, USA

problem #44

Jun 092013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
We were driving on the NJ turnpike. Suddenly, the car stalled and the steering locked. Luckily, we just started the hour long drive and were on the slow lane and was able to glide the car over safely to the shoulder. The check "csv" and "check hybrid system" lights came on and the hybrid battery showed no energy. The car would not start and was towed to the closest Toyota dealership. There were no prior warnings about battery errors or problems before completely stalling. It is understandable problems will arise, but with no warning and a car stalling on a major highway, the incident could have been extremely dangerous.

- Cedar Grove, NJ, USA

problem #43

Feb 162013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Hybrid inverter failure. Accelerating from stoplight to enter highway ramp. Loud bang and all lights on dash came on. Engine continued running but no propulsion. Had it towed to dealer and informed it was a hybrid inverter failure, and would cost $10,000 to repair. We are now looking at class action lawsuits.

- Milton, GA, USA

problem #42

Jan 262013

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
My 17-year-old daughter was driving on I-5 in northern California. She had cruise control set at 70mph and was traveling up hill when cruise control suddenly popped off and car went dead. She had no power, and power steering went out. She managed to coast to the crest of the hill and down the other side to pull off the road, but was in a very dangerous situation near truck weigh station with big rigs pulling on and off highway. Car had to be towed to dealership. We were informed that hybrid inverter was dead and would cost $8,000+ to repair. Contacted corporate and was informed that since the car was out of warranty they would offer no assistance in repair costs. Have since heard other similar stories regarding 2006 Toyota hybrids.

- Red Bluff, CA, USA

problem #41

Nov 102012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


My son was driving and the vehicle stopped on him in the middle of the road with no warning or power steering. Vehicle had to be towed to the dealership. Was informed by the dealership that the hybrid generator had shorted and needed $7,300 worth of repairs. I am very concerned that this vehicle is dangerous, if he was on a very busy road and this vehicle were to have stopped on him as suddenly as it did that day he could of possibly been rear-ended and seriously injured. This vehicle has been a part of several recalls with this same type of issue, but Toyota has refused my request for this vehicle to be repaired or issue a recall with this issue.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #40

Oct 192012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
After making a left turn at a stop sign, the vehicle display started indicating error codes including check hybrid system. After driving approx 1/2 mile, the vehicle lost power and shut down/stalled in the middle of the highway in traffic. Fortunate, I received some help from an on-looker to help me manually steer the car over slightly on to the sidewalk area as traffic is congested in that area. Toyota does not consider this a safety issue even though their recall notice indicates "increasing the risk of a crash". additionally, they will not honor their recall notice for the hybrid system inverter stating the intelligent power module located on the inverter was not the cause of the failure even though the conditions were exactly what is stated on the recall notice.

- Felton , PA, USA

problem #39

Sep 252012

Highlander Hybrid

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the check hybrid system warning light illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was merged to the shoulders as all of the instrument panel gauges illuminated. In addition, the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated hat the wiring harness to the rear differential was corroded. The corrosion had to be cleaned off from the wiring harness connection and the engine restarted. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who stated that there was no recall for the failure and offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #38

Aug 052012

Highlander Hybrid

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without any warnings. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnosed that the inverter needed to be replaced. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V342000 (electrical system) that may be related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Jonesburg, MO, USA

problem #37

Aug 112012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 124,512 miles
While driving on I40 just after leaving I17 at flagstaff, AZ, during heavy rainstorm, vehicle decelerated abruptly to about 45 mph (while on cruise control set at 65), managed to pull off at next off ramp and car died completely about halfway up offramp (country club road exit). Warning messages included "check hybrid system", "check 4WD system", and "check avs system". after calling findlay Toyota in flagstaff and while waiting for tow truck, turned system off for a few minutes and attempted restart which was successful and drove to Toyota dealership. After 2 days of diagnostic checks and technician calls with Toyota, they tried to tell me problem was dirty mass air flow sensor. This vehicle had received recall notice and had inverter and avs system replaced at a little over 100,000 miles. Extreme safety hazard with power system failure on interstate in rainstorm surrounded by 18 wheelers.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #36

Jun 202012

Highlander Hybrid

  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. The contact stated that while attempting to reverse from a residential drive way, the vehicle exhibited a loud popping noise and all of the warning lamps illuminated. The contact mentioned that immediately after the failure occurred, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the inverter and electronic control unit was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 11V342000 (electrical system). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 113,000.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #35

Sep 042010

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Driving in 6 lanes of heavy traffic we heard a 'thunk' and lost all power. I wrestled the vehicle to get it to coast off of the road. Car was towed to Toyota dealer where it was found that the inverter needed to be replaced. Cost was $7600, after a substantial discount from the dealer, who was obviously embarrassed about charging so much for a single part. The incident could have caused an accident, since all power and electrically assisted driving functions failed simultaneously. Fortunately it didn't. subsequently I found that Toyota had upgraded their inverters beginning in 2007. We have also received in 2011 from Toyota an "interim safety recall notice" for the inverter, but have heard nothing since.

- Ennis, TX, USA

problem #34

Mar 202012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
My hh has about 160,000 miles on it. I had received recall notice and called my local Toyota dealership 3 to 5 times, each time was put over to "recall center", which equals voice mail with no return call. Ever. Last week when I was driving on the highway, my vehicle suddenly stopped running and was flashing error messages on dashboard, including check hybrid system. It ended up at the dealer as closest mechanic did not have computer system to check it. I asked the dealer to check and repair the recall(s) while they repaired the car. They ended up telling me that the issue, while related to a recall involving part of the inverter, that the parts required for the repair would cost $9000 over what the recall involved, but that, they would be so nice as to only charge me $4000 for the repair because the car had been serviced every 5000 miles up to 100,000 miles at a Toyota dealership. In researching this problem, I see that thousands of 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid owners have had same problem and, in fact, Toyota acknowledged problem not only by changing the inverter in 2007 models, but also by doing this complete repair job that my vehicle needs for many, many owners for under $1000. The dealership has been inadequately responsive to these issues; I have now contacted Toyota's "customer experience center" and am awaiting their response.

- Morristown, NJ, USA

problem #33

Mar 052012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid. While driving approximately 65 mph, the engine stalled with the illumination of all of the warning indicators on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 11V342000 (electrical system) and stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs but the dealer experienced difficulties in performing the remedy for the recall defect. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 96,000. Updated 5/11/12

- San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #32

Feb 022012

Highlander Hybrid 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I swerved and stopped suddenly when someone pulled out from a side street to avoid a collision. When I tried to restart the car, I couldn't. everything "seized" up. I just could not move the car. I had to have it towed to the dealership. They investigated and said that the actuator was stuck open and allowing brake fluid to continually enter the wheels, thereby engaging the brakes. In fact, the mechanic could only move the car once he disabled either the brakes or the actuator, he wasn't specific. From reading other customer discussions online, it appears that this part is supposed to have a lifetime warranty. My dealership looked up the general warranty and said that this wouldn't be covered. My car has had regular maintenance. I think a part like this should be covered and it should be recalled.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

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